Bhubaneswar, Aug 5 (IANS) The fourth body was recovered after 14 days of the coal mine accident at Bharatpur open cast coal mines in Talcher coalfields of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) on Monday.
The body of the fourth missing person has been identified as Ramesh Dash, security guard of D.K. Dana Security Agency, a contractor in the mines, said an MCL official.
With this, the death toll has increased to four while nine were injured following a strata collapse at the Bharatpur mines on July 23.
Meanwhile, the coal production and despatch continued to suffer on the 13th consecutive day as the locals are on a strike since July 24 demanding a safety inspection of entire Talcher coalfields along with a high-level probe into the incident and adequate compensation to the deceased families.
The employees of MCL along with trade union leaders on Monday met Talcher sub-collector and submitted a representation to restore normalcy in Talcher coalfields and resume production in the remaining eight unaffected mines of the company, the official said.
Later, a tri-partite meeting with the sub-collector was held with the striking villagers and MCL’s general managers which ended without a conclusion, with the villagers sticking to their demand of a permanent job in MCL along with Rs 1 crore as compensation to the deceased families.
The blockade has resulted in closing of units of the power plants which were dependent on Talcher coalfields for the supply of the dry fuel.
NTPC’s Kaniha plant has closed four of its six units while Talcher Thermal Power Plant (TTPS) is running at 50 per cent Plant Load factor(PLF).
Meanwhile, the cumulative losses up to August 4 stands at 23.14 lakh tonne of coal, 26.64 lakh tonne of despatch, 22.56 lakh cubic metre of over burden removal.
The loss to the company stands at Rs 234.92 crore while loss to the Central and state exchequer is at Rs 152.06 crore.